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Bias Investigation Wrap-Up

by Greg Dillon, Special Investigator

3rd March 2020

I was contacted by Justin Ford/Maggie Geppert about looking into the possibility of bias in the selection of the 2E Brand Manager in 2016. To that end I was provided with: 

- The applications of 4 applicants for 2E Brand Manager, Justin Ford (Resistance-is-futile), Andrey Larin (Cersan) and Ross Fertel (Faithful Reader) and a 4th who’s asked to remain anonymous.

- PMs that Charlie Plaine (CC Chairman at the time) sent or received about the selection.

- The names of the selection committee members so that I could question them

I did not see the interviews of the applicants.

The selection committee indicated to me that Ross was chosen predominantly because of his experience relevant to the role of Brand Manager, namely in project management. 

One of the selection committee members said: 

“The original listing for the 2E Brand Manager position was one more for project management and not into more of the design side of things. At the time, he appeared to be the most task-oriented of the four of them and had the most real-life project management out of the four. He had his downsides such as having the least amount of play experience but all four of them had their flaws in their application and/or interview.” 

Jeremy Benedict posted this (https://www.trekcc.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=56&t=37473&p=453969#p4 53969) publicly in February 2019. 

“I was one of the people that chose Ross for the job in the first place. It was intended as a project management role, and we chose someone with actual project management experience. I did not make a decision because it was an olive branch to any particular community or playgroup, I did not make a decision based on someone's ability to play a game, and I actually made it a point not to choose someone with close ties to the CC or a current role in the organization explicitly because of some people's insistence that only a small tight group of people would get considered - and we all openly knew the backlash that would cause. I still stand by my choice based on the criteria for the job, I can't speak for others who were involved. Roles have changed over time, and whether someone is still the best fit is up to the people to decide through the systems available.” 

Ultimately I am satisfied that there was no bias for or against any of the applicants from the selection committee or Charlie.

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